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California to have permanent mail voting after governor signs local Assembly member's bill

Mailing ballots to every state voter during pandemic credited with record-breaking participation in 2020 presidential election

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday to make permanent the state's pandemic-era process of mailing an election ballot to every active registered voter in the state.

Assemblyman Marc Berman authored AB 37, which makes the pandemic practice of mailing ballots to all California voters permanent. Photo by Veronica Weber

The law, Assembly Bill 37 authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park), will continue the state's mail voting practice that began during the November 2020 election and continued to this month's failed election to recall Newsom from office. Berman represents the 24th Assembly District, which includes Palo Alto, Mountain View and Menlo Park.

California joins Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Vermont and Hawaii as states that send a ballot to all registered voters by default.

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Courtesy Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"Last year we took unprecedented steps to ensure all voters had the opportunity to cast a ballot during the pandemic and today we are making those measures permanent after record-breaking participation in the 2020 presidential election," Newsom said in a statement.

Voters will still have the option to forfeit their mail-in ballot if they want to vote in person.

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"When voters get a ballot in the mail, they vote,” Berman said in a statement. "As other states actively look for ways to make it harder for people to vote, California is expanding access to an already safe and secure ballot."

State residents can register to vote at registertovote.ca.gov.

A voter drops off a ballot at the Rinconada Library voting center in Palo Alto on March 3, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier

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California to have permanent mail voting after governor signs local Assembly member's bill

Mailing ballots to every state voter during pandemic credited with record-breaking participation in 2020 presidential election

by /

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 28, 2021, 10:47 am

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday to make permanent the state's pandemic-era process of mailing an election ballot to every active registered voter in the state.

The law, Assembly Bill 37 authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park), will continue the state's mail voting practice that began during the November 2020 election and continued to this month's failed election to recall Newsom from office. Berman represents the 24th Assembly District, which includes Palo Alto, Mountain View and Menlo Park.

California joins Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Vermont and Hawaii as states that send a ballot to all registered voters by default.

"Last year we took unprecedented steps to ensure all voters had the opportunity to cast a ballot during the pandemic and today we are making those measures permanent after record-breaking participation in the 2020 presidential election," Newsom said in a statement.

Voters will still have the option to forfeit their mail-in ballot if they want to vote in person.

"When voters get a ballot in the mail, they vote,” Berman said in a statement. "As other states actively look for ways to make it harder for people to vote, California is expanding access to an already safe and secure ballot."

State residents can register to vote at registertovote.ca.gov.

Comments

Santa Rita Mom
Registered user
The Crossings
on Sep 28, 2021 at 3:02 pm
Santa Rita Mom, The Crossings
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2021 at 3:02 pm

[Post removed due to trolling/disinformation]


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Sep 28, 2021 at 5:59 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2021 at 5:59 pm

The idea sounds great, but the devil is in the details. If millions of INDEPENDENT VOTERS are disenfranchised during presidential primaries, is it still a great idea?

CA has a weird "modified" closed primary system. Back in 1996, voters approved Prop 198 to end our old closed system in favor of an "open" one. Yay for us! All registered voters would be able vote for any candidate, regardless of political affiliation and without a declaration of political faith or allegiance. But we don't have this today, why not? The CA Dem Party took CA voters (who are mostly Dems) to court (think about THAT for a hot minute), all the way to the Supreme Court. In 2000, the same "hanging chads" justices who gave us George W. Bush sided with the CA Dem Party to overturn the will of the voters. Afterwards, the legislature came up with our current "modified" closed primary system Web Link .

CA calls Independents "NPP voters" ("No Party Preference"). By default in a primary election, NPP voters receive "NPP ballots." I call them junk ballots, they don't allow a vote to be cast for a presidential nominee DURING A PRIMARY! Usually an NPP voter is allowed to obtain a real Democratic Party ballot, but not a Republican one. However, NPP voters need to be aware of this + know the exact steps to get one. Some wits call this process "say the secret password". I think it resembles a Jim Crow poll test devised to suppress NPP votes.

"The number of [CA] residents registered as NPP has been growing for years ... As of Oct. 1, 2019, there were nearly 5.5 million residents registered as NPP ... That marks 26.7% of registered voters, compared to 23.6% for Republicans and 44.1% for Democrats." Web Link

Unless changes are made, millions of NPP voters will be mailed junk ballots AUTOMATICALLY during primary elections. How many will use them?


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